Last Monday the First Regional Book Fair, organized by the Municipality of La Quiaca, and the space became a scene of vindication and manifestation of Jujuy history.
An example of this was the participation of the teacher, researcher and writer Reynaldo Castro placeholder image, which presented the third expanded edition of the book “They took him alive. Memories of mothers and relatives of disappeared detainees from San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina”.
Castro spoke with Salta / 12, and said that the new edition was held in April of this year, through 500 weapons, editorial representing a counter-tribute to the governor Gerardo Morales placeholder image, who said that in the Alto Comedero neighborhood the Tupac Amaru he had a hidden arsenal with 500 weapons. In addition, he reiterated at the Book Fair, that a digital version was also created, “which will circulate freely for everyone.”
The book gathers the testimony of relatives of disappeared detainees in the province together with the statements made in the Trial of the Boards, the memories that were recorded in the Never more and the marginal memories that were on the point of being diluted, the requests for whereabouts, habeas corpus, some poems, a handful of songs from the time and texts that come from other pages, explained the writer.
For Castro, the release of the material is not a novelty, because it is something that happened with the first edition, in 2004, at which time the Association of former Political Prisoners of Jujuy asked him to scan it and circulate it. After that request, “I began to think that it was a healthy question”, since there “memories that have been covered up” were reflected, even by the survivors themselves, who out of fear, decided not to speak for many years.
In that sense, he stated that what is recorded are “victorious memories”, which were born from a group that managed to meet, articulate struggles and challenge the dictatorship. “They are exemplary memories that deserve to be disseminated, above all, by the current struggles.” The writer made a comparison with the present and pointed out the high rate of femicides in the province governed by the radical Morales.
He argued that what has been experienced today also speaks of a submission and violation of rights; In this case, it is made visible by the militancy and struggle of Jujuy women. Castro considered that it is necessary to unite the memories of that stormy past, with what happens today, so that “the victims and relatives of the girls can also organize and be much more supportive”, in that imposed transit.
In addition to being recognized as a book “object of memories”, Castro also affirmed that it is a “combat book”, which dialogues with another of his writings: How to make identities with memories (2016). And that by the end of this year, he will do it with Weaving with broken threads: State terrorism in Jujuy, which includes works that reflect on how the dictatorship refuses to pass.
The author insists on two issues in this new edition. The first, to continue calling people who have any data, document or information, which can be sent to the mail [email protected]. The second question is to ask for the circulation of the writing, “so that these memories are known by people who did not live in those difficult times, so that everyone has the possibility of hearing the voices that come from the past and demand justice“.
“Just as it is impossible to remember everything, no one can completely erase the past. Now, with this digital edition, we have a new reservoir for this legacy and also a platform that will make the transmission of memories more fluid. A free book“, said the university professor. Whoever wants to read it, can do so from here
With the online edition, which contains 465 pages, a Gutenbergnian edition was also made, with the cover design of Remo Bianchedi, the edition of Gabriela Letizia and excellent binding with glued and sewn sheets.
“The story also happened here”
Although the book saw the light in 2004, all its production took place a long time before, and from the hand of its teacher, Andrés Fidalgo. The essayist, poet and defense lawyer for political prisoners called him for a first work related to human rights, which concluded with the publication of his book Jujuy, 1966/1983, which served as a “platform” for Castro’s book, who by then was hired as secretary.
“Now I understand that he did not need me, but that he intuited that I could write a book like the one that summons us today. He paid me a good salary, month after month, to teach me to write about memory,” Castro said at the ceremony. presentation of the first edition, held in the living room Auditorium of the Ministry of Social Welfare of Jujuy, a March 23, 2004.
The writer never tires of emphasizing that the book represents a collective construction of Jujuy history. “We are always used to the fact that great deeds and actions happen in big cities, far away, but never in ours,” he confessed. That idea was demolished thanks to Fidalgo, since with him, he learned that in Jujuy there were more than 100 disappeared.
Precisely, the book With life they took them, closes with the list of the 129 people, who were arrested, disappeared, murdered or victims of forced disappearance in the province. With that bucket of cold water, recognize the places of detention in Jujuy, such as the Guerrero Clandestine Detention Center, led him to say out loud that “history also passed through here”. “To be able to name that is to overcome impunity and fear,” he admitted.
With his boss he not only maintained a work relationship, but also an emotional one. A moment where this was reflected was when Castro, in his position as secretary, began to build the files of the detained and disappeared persons.
Under that task, he had to go over the names of the missing persons. In that list was the name of Alcira Fidalgo placeholder image, daughter of Andrés and Nélida Pizarro, kidnapped by Alfredo Astiz, and that she was detained for a time at the ESMA. His abduction was proven and remembered because it was the case number 500 in the Trial of the Military Juntas.
It was Nélida who encouraged, and even demanded, Castro to write the book. He did so after being tasked with editing a book of his daughter’s poems. That first job together led him to have several loose stories of what happened during state terrorism, which he later decided to take up again. He did so in the early 2000s, when he asked Nélida if he could interview relatives of disappeared detainees. The proposal was accepted immediately and in 2002 and 2003, he interviewed as a group the mothers and relatives of disappeared detainees.
That impetus to tell that Nélida had, he also found in the mothers, sisters and wives, who agreed to give their testimony. This scenario, led him to know that the title of the book should focus on life. “I was prepared to feel sad stories, but the vitality with which they touched on the subject gave me a lesson that made me get out of my own prejudices. They fought for life“, he expressed to Salta / 12.
And he highlighted the work of women. For Castro, they “are the guardians of memory”. He recalled that when Nélida “pushed” him to make Alcira’s book, he went to his house and “had all the material labeled and ordered”, which for him meant that “she kept that question of thinking about the other, about her daughter , and think about the other women. ” “They managed to transcend the condition of unique people, to adopt a collective identity”, manfiestó.
A change of era
The writer said that a year was saved to order all the information collected, then he transferred it to each person who gave their testimony, and with the last revision of Andrés Fidalgo, he ventured to find a publisher for publication.
It was not easy. The National University of Jujuy (UNJu) stated that before publication, the document had to go through a mandatory review by its lawyers. Castro did not return. He searched Buenos Aires and other cooperative publishing houses, but they did not find any answers. Until the publisher The Armored Rose, from José Luis Mangieri, said yes. The publication was made thanks to the financial contribution of Mangieri, the Fidalgo family members, and the author, and on March 23, 2004, it was presented.
The next day, the then president Nestor KirchnerHe would deliver a speech at ESMA, in which he apologized for the State’s silence in the face of crimes against humanity experienced in the last military dictatorship. It was quite a surprise. Castro recalled that when they were just beginning the compilation work, the group did not see “any possible horizon of justice and we believed that there was no possibility that (the genocidaires) would be taken to the bench.”
What about Nestor “was a very big impulse”, which later, “he put into practice with a human rights policy.” Years later, the UNJu carried out a second edition, quickly; and under the protection of national policies that allowed to consolidate a scenario in favor of memory, truth and justice.
However, he considered that there was a “relaxation” stage, which included him as well. “I thought I had already done my homework and could dedicate myself to something else,” but the macrismo arrived with the first Morales government, and in Jujuy everything changed. “The raids began and there was a great persecutory display against any type of protest, including prisoners,” not only remembering Miracle Room, but members of the Tupac, also present in the cases against the leader.
“That is why we have to keep talking about the dictatorship”, He pointed out, to relate what happened and so that all the actors involved in crimes against humanity in Jujuy are also tried, such as the businessman Carlos Blaquier, owner of Ledesma. He recalled that with the macrismo the delay in the trials was deepened, that just today, the causes are retaken, such as those of Blaquier himself.